An integral part of the rosary, indeed, the most essential part, is the meditation on the mysteries of the incarnation (joyful mysteries) and the redemption (the sorrowful and glorious mysteries).
Yet there are different ways to meditate on the mysteries. One particular way may always be the most fruitful one for you, or you may feel inclined to alternate between two or more different styles of meditation. It could be that while one approach may prove better in a certain season of your life, you may find yourself drawn in a different season to move on to another meditation style and stick with it for a while. Ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, chat about it with your spiritual director if you have one, and experiment!
The following four ways are suggested as different possibilities by the Trappist Abbey of the Genesee in Piffard, NY:
1. Simply picture the scene of each mystery, noting some of the details and thinking of Jesus’ and Mary’s reactions to the various events, for instance how Mary must have feared and worried at the loss of the Child in Jerusalem, the pain Jesus must have felt as the nails pierced his hands and feet.
2. Representing the events of each mystery briefly and meditating on the virtues Jesus and Mary portrayed in each, for instance Mary’s faith and humility at the Annunciation, Jesus’ resignation to the will of his Father at Gethsemani.
3. A brief recalling of the events, but rather than dwelling on the details and virtues, meditating on the great basic themes they represent, for instance the whole meaning of the Incarnation, the Redemption, the Paschal Mystery for us, joy at the forgiveness of our sins made possible by Christ’s death on the Cross, the encouragement and hope held out to us by his Resurrection and Ascension.
4. A somewhat more contemplative approach by a simple, loving gaze at Jesus within us, communing with him in a sort of experiential, intuitive way, with the events of the various mysteries there implicitly, creating a background for a more vivid realization of Jesus’ great love for us as manifested by the events of the mysteries and the love we owe him in return.